Concerns over plans for New Junior School in Cranleigh

Concerns over plans for New Junior School in Cranleigh

Surrey County Council have submitted a planning application (ref SCC2017/0064 & WBC: WA/2017/0696) for a new Junior and Infant School at Glebelands in Cranleigh, and this was discussed at the Cranleigh Parish Council Planning meeting on 24 April 2017.

Having reviewed the application we at Cranleigh Civic Society have concerns regarding child safety.

It appears that with the new school building, the impact of having 3 schools in close proximity in the Glebelands area, and the dangers of hugely increased population of school children travelling to and from school, have not been addressed.

The current Church of England Infant School in Church Lane, has parking available that allows parents to park and walk their Infant school children to the safety of the Infant School premises.

There is no parking provision for parents in the proposed new infant School at Glebelands that will allow parents to ensure their children’s safe arrival at School.

As well as no parking provision for the younger children’s parents/guardians, there is also no extra drop-off area provision for the increased number of High School children.

The impact of the Dunsfold and Cranleigh development proposals could double the current numbers of children of Infant and High School age travelling to and from Glebelands School.

The lack of safety provision in the proposed application will put the new and existing school attendees at unacceptably high risk in many ways in the future while travelling to, from and arriving at school.

We believe that Surrey County Council & Waverley Borough Council both have a duty to properly address this serious issue to ensure child safety and we would be interested to hear how they will carry out their duty of care in ensuring the safe arrival and departure of the huge numbers of children that will attend the Schools at Glebelands in the future.

Cranleigh Primary School Development Plans

Cranleigh Primary School Development Plans

We have been advised that some residents have received an invitation to the Public Exhibition of the proposed residential development of 98 houses (and open space!) at the existing Cranleigh school sites at Parsonage Road and Church Lane, in addition to the relocation of Cranleigh Primary School to ‘surplus’ land at Glebelands. (This surplus land has a football pitch on it, so is in fact a school playing field).

Surrey County Council wants your views, please make sure you go to the public exhibition and let them know what you think of this scheme.

16:00 to 19:30 hrs

Residents have expressed many concerns about the loss of these sites to yet more housing in Cranleigh, especially in light of the fact that planning permission has been granted for nearly 850 new homes with a further 120 dwellings on the Hewitts Industrial Estate site at Appeal.

Surely we need more school sites now not less, or am I missing something?” one resident has asked us.

Existing Cranleigh Primary Schools sites


Existing primary school sites

There are also concerns about parking and pedestrian access on the proposed new school site.  “The new school will only have one narrow access point via the Royal British Legion – onto the corner of Rowlands Road. Where will the parents park? Imagine the traffic chaos outside Glebelands School at 8:45am from coaches, parents and residents from the new developments.”

At present, parents can access the existing schools from Parsonage Road, Dewlands Lane and by pedestrian link to the High Street, providing adequate and fairly dispersed parking near by.

The pedestrian link to the new school will be up the footpath opposite the shop ‘Bone’ on the Common. There are worries that this area of the Common will become an unofficial car park as parents avoid the more congested area around the school.  “Has a traffic assessment been done by someone who actually understands the frustrations of the school run?” a resident has asked us.

The application can be viewed on the Waverley Borough Council Planning Portal the ref is SO/2016/0004.

The following text is taken from the application documents:

“The proposed scheme is for the erection of 98 dwellings, including 31 affordable dwellings, with associated parking spaces, gardens and open space. The proposal would comprise a mix of 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom dwellings. Access would be provided from Parsonage Road and Dewlands Lane.”

“The site comprises two parcels of land to the north of Cranleigh High Street, which are currently occupied by Cranleigh C of E Junior School (Site ‘A’) and Cranleigh C of E Infant School (Site ‘B’). The total site area for the two sites is 2.48 ha. The sites currently comprise single storey school buildings and associated play and parking space. Site ‘A’ also contains a portakabin occupied by Mulberry Living Ltd, which is a private healthcare provider.”

Waverley Planning Officers have also stated the following:

“There are several proposals for residential development in and around Cranleigh namely:

• Land at Knowle Lane – 425 dwellings – WA/2014/0912 – appeal allowed

• Land south of Amlets Lane – 125 dwellings – WA/2014/1038 – outline permission granted, reserved matters under consideration

• Hewitts Industrial Estate – 120 dwellings – WA/2014/2384 – refused, currently at appeal

• Land at 106 and Chantreys Bungalow and land to the south west of Horsham Road – 149 dwellings – WA/2014/1754 – outline permission granted, reserved matters under consideration

• Little Meadow – 75 dwellings – WA/2015/0478 – pending decision

• Land west of Cranleigh Nurseries and North of Knowle Park – 265 dwellings – WA/2015/1569 – pending decision.

Were the above planning applications to be granted, and those currently at appeal allowed, there would be a cumulative increase of 1,159 dwellings in the immediate vicinity of the application site.

However, to date, only three of the above schemes have been granted outline permission, and the reserved matters for those proposal have not yet been agreed.

Therefore it is considered that at this stage the development would not cumulate with other developments such that significant environmental impacts would occur.”

The Cranleigh Society vehemently refutes the point that an Environmental Impact Assessment is not required and the cumulative effect of all the development in Cranleigh will not have a significant impact on the environment.

Copy of Letter Elizabeth Sims, Head of Planning Waverley Borough Council

Our initial observations are as follows:

There is no objectively assessed need for yet more housing in Cranleigh.

A significant area of the Cranleigh Primary School site is in flood zone 3 and therefore at high risk of flooding (as is the new proposed school site it appears from the Environment Agency flood map for planning).

EA flood map for planning school sites

We also have the ongoing issue with sewage in Cranleigh, which brings into serious question the deliverability of these houses.

There appears to be inadequate parking provision in the notional design.

Roof heights appear to be extremely tall, with 2.5 and 3 storeys dominating the street scene and neighbouring homes.

Furthermore, the density is particularly high, cramming in almost 40 dwellings per hectare (dph). The overall average dph in Cranleigh is 17.3.

Cranleigh Primary Schools proposed elevation plans


Proposed elevation plans